Sympathetic rhythms and nervous integration.


:1. The present review focuses on some of the processes producing rhythms in sympathetic nerves influencing cardiovascular functions and considers their potential relevance to nervous integration. 2. Two mechanisms are considered that may account for rhythmic sympathetic discharges. First, neuronal elements of peripheral or central origin produce rhythmic activity by phasically exciting and/or inhibiting neurons within central sympathetic networks. Second, rhythms arise within central sympathetic networks. Evidence is considered that indicates the operation of both mechanisms; the first in muscle and the second in skin sympathetic vasoconstrictor networks. 3. Sympathetic activity to the rat tail, a model for the nervous control of skin circulation, is regulated by central networks involved in thermoregulation and those associated with fear and arousal. In an anaesthetized preparation, activity displays an apparently autonomous rhythm (T-rhythm; 0.4-1.2 Hz) and the level of activity can be manipulated by regulating core body temperature. This model has been used to study rhythm generation in central sympathetic networks and possible functional relevance. 4. A unique insight provided by the T rhythm, into possible physiological function(s) underlying rhythmic sympathetic discharges is that the activity of single sympathetic post-ganglionic neurons within a population innervating the same target can have different rhythm frequencies. Therefore, the graded and dynamic entrainment of the rhythms by inputs, such as central respiratory drive and/or lung inflation-related afferent activity, can produce graded and dynamic synchronization of sympathetic discharges. The degree of synchronization may influence the efficacy of transmission in a target chain of excitable cells. 5. The T-rhythm may be generated within the spinal cord because the intrathecal application of 5-hydroxytryptamine at the L1 level of the spinal cord of a rat spinalized at T10-T11 produces a T-like rhythm. Thus, induction and modulation of spinal cord oscillators may be mechanisms that influence ganglionic and neuroeffector transmission. 6. The study of sympathetic rhythms may not only further understanding of sympathetic control, but may also inform on the relevance of rhythmic nervous activities in general.


Gilbey MP




Has Abstract


2007-04-01 00:00:00














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